Ten minutes searching for car parking several times daily adds up to more than 240 hours per year, and an average of 700 complete days in your life. Driving around looking for an available car slot wastes fuel, induces anxiety and increases pollution in city centres.

Montpellier is a small French city of the region of Occitanie. Its 270,000 inhabitants suffer, like every other city, from traffic jams and lack of parking slots. This city has historically been a pioneer in smart city projects related to mobility initially and moving to larger IoT deployments now.

Montpellier Mediterranean Metropolis (Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole) is the public intercommunal structure which promotes these IoT projects through its commitment to provide open data solutions to enrich services offered to citizens.

Based on 10-years’ experience, the French company Synox has shared its knowledge and know-how with Montpellier Mediterranean Metropolis for new and innovative urban services. in particular, it has helped with a smart parking solution, developed with Libelium’s technology, called Connected Parking.

Synox is a customer of Libelium’s distributor Factory Systemes. It has been involved in smart cities projects since its foundation, contributing to the development of urban services using new technologies. Some months ago, the company won a public tender of the Montpellier Mediterranean Metropolis giving Synox the opportunity to benefit from a range of projects, involving different companies, start-ups, laboratories and universities.

Along with the creation of this large-scale smart cities project, the Montpellier Mediterranean Metropolis set the stages for a private network based on LoRaWAN communication protocol. Some LoRaWAN antennas were installed by the company Synox in strategic locations on the urban area to give coverage to the upcoming smart cities projects.

Montpellier shopping centre has limited parking slots and there are traffic jams in some streets habitually. The main goal of this project was to make traffic more fluid and increase rotation at parking spaces near the town hall and a shopping centre.

Twenty Smart Parking nodes were installed by Synox in two different areas of the city: six at the surroundings of the Montpellier Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville de Montpellier) and the rest on the nearby Parc Marianne district.

These devices were installed in the surface of the roadway in parking areas for people with reduced mobility and delivery services to relieve congestion, streamline traffic, and improve access to car parks. In the future, more people will benefit from this project as the plan is to increase the number of nodes throughout the metropolis.

The sensors also gather data about the temperature of the roadway which will be used by the city’s road authorities to take action in case of the presence of ice.

The Smart Parking sensor network is connected to the Metropolis LoRaWAN private network, deployed with Synox’s expertise in building a specific infrastructure to allow the entity to keep sovereignty in the data from end to end. Data management displays show this real-time information and indicators of the use of car parking slots to improve the traffic conditions and diminish car parking search time.

Connected Parking as part of the Open Data approach helps citizens to have more information and on-line data available. Users, laboratories and other start-ups can use this data and benefit from it, creating new services for smarter, more dynamic and environmentally friendly city.

Pieter Brice, CTO at Montpellier Mediterranean Metropolis remarks, “An additional step was taken by the Metropole of Montpellier in the Smart City program. The Smart Parking project allowed us to consolidate our collaboration with Libelium and to look forward new services offered to users on car park solution.”

“The Smart Parking project made it possible to easily deploy on private LoRaWAN network infrastructure an analysis of the strategic car park availability, for the city mobility services, the City Police, and soon the citizens themselves. Have a better understanding and a better management of car park availability and traffic in the city is a major key point to improve citizen’s life”, explains Jérôme Fenwick, CTO at Synox.

The case study, with additional information, was originally published here.

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